While Street Fighter V may have a visual style when placed side-by-side with 2008’s Street Fighter IV, Capcom is taking the battle system for their upcoming one-on-one fighter in a completely new direction.
The “Variable System” (AKA V-Gauge) is a three-tiered gauge that will slowly build as you play the game, though it’ll fill faster as your character takes damage. As the V-Gauge fills, players will be able to perform special skills and reversals, or enter into a unique “V-Trigger” state once the V-Gauge fills completely. A second bar, the EX Gauge, will allow players to unleash a “highly damaging, cinematic attack” known as a Critical Art.
A very informative post on the Capcom-Unity blog breaks down the mechanics of the Variable System and how it’ll apply to the four currently-revealed characters:
V-Skills are unique skills per character that can be accessed at any time by pressing medium punch and medium kick together. These skills do not require use of the V-Gauge and have different uses per character (e.g. mobility, offensive, defensive). V-Skills are rather important in battle as they may help a character in an area they’re weak at or help to fill up the V-Gauge quicker. Learning how to properly and efficiently use each character’s V-Skill will be key in winning matches.
V-Reversals take up one stock of V-Gauge, and allow a player to counter the attack of the opponent while blocking, thus creating some breathing room. They are similar to “Alpha counters” from the Street Fighter Alpha series, but this time not every counter results in a universal effect; some push the opponent back, some knock them down and some switch sides. Players should explore each character to see how their V-Reversals function.
V-Triggers are unique abilities per character that can only be activated once the V-Gauge is full, by pressing heavy punch and heavy kick together. V-Triggers, much like Ultras in Street Fighter IV, are a way for your character to turn the tide of battle. That, however, is where the similarities end. Activating the V-Trigger, which allows access to a character’s full potential, is merely step one. It is completely up to the player to properly utilize the benefits received from the V-Trigger to change the course of the match. As V-Triggers add quite a bit of depth to each character, mastering their use will be paramount to victory.
That’s not all, however, as there is also the EX Gauge, which builds as you deal damage to the opponent. The EX Gauge allows characters to perform powered up versions of their special attacks and when maxed out, their Critical Art. Critical Arts are highly damaging, cinematic attacks that are unique to each character.
Street Fighter V will be released for the PC and PS4 next year. Capcom plans to bring the game to this year’s E3 Expo, so we should learn a bit more about it next week.